Director: Taika Waititi
Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Mark Ruffalo
Release Date: 24th October
In his first foray into massive blockbusters, New Zealand indie film director Taika Waititi delivers a comedically brilliant addition to the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe. Waititi has garnered a cult following over the years with his smaller films such as the hilarious vampire mockumentary What We Do in The Shadows and his heart-filled 2016 release Hunt for The Wilder People. These two films show that he can hit comedy beats with ease, but how does the director fair with the high action expected in a Thor film?
In his first foray into massive blockbusters, New Zealand indie film director Taika Waititi delivers a comedically brilliant addition to the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Any sort of misgivings about this transition can be put to rest. The action sequences in Thor: Ragnarok are nothing short of gripping. The special effects are spectacular (as is to be expected from Marvel) with the slight exception of the fighting pit scenes which can look like they are shot on a sound stage. Thankfully, though, this is easy to look past as the planet it’s set on, Sakaar, and its neon-punk vibes are so enveloping and engaging.
The acting is great too. Jeff Goldblum’s turn as the immature and flamboyant Grand Master generates many laughs and his co-antagonist Hela (Cate Blanchett) manages to toe the line between chilling and humorous perfectly.
Hemsworth and Hiddleston, returning to the roles of Thor and Loki, put in wonderful performances, as does Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. Waititi himself even jumps in front of the camera to play the hilarious rock monster/meek revolutionary Korg.
All of these characters feel fully-fleshed out in the ample 130-minute runtime. We do love a good Easter Egg in comic book movies. With this in mind, be on the lookout for some great cameo appearances from other Marvel characters, big-name actors and ones who have worked with Waititi in the past.
On the downside, the movie’s unpredictable and surprising approach seems to be traded for a more formulaic Marvel movie in the third act.
On the downside, the movie’s unpredictable and surprising approach seems to have been traded for a more formulaic Marvel movie in the third act. That being said, it doesn’t feel like too much of a re-tread and there are enough surprises in there to keep your attention.
In A Nutshell: Where Thor: Ragnarok ranks among other Marvel movies is hard to say but it definitely gives Guardians of the Galaxy a run for its money in the cosmic comedy side of the Universe.